CONCACAF sacks Webb in face of scandal

| 28/05/2015 | 72 Comments
Ex-CONCACAF president, Jeffrey Webb, in Zürich Wednesday hours before his arrest

Ex-CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb in Zurich Wednesday hours before his arrest

(CNS): The region’s football body has dismissed Cayman’s Jeffrey Webb from the CONCACAF top job and put Senior Vice President Alfredo Hawit in his place in the wake of yesterday’s shocking news of the arrest of Webb and several other football officials and marketing executives in relation to corruption charges. Eduardo Li, an executive member of CONCACAF and Costa Rica’s football boss, has also been sacked.

Webb was indicted by US investigators in a massive $150 million corruption scandal and was arrested in Zürich ahead of the FIFA annual congress and election of its president. Webb is facing extradition to the US charged with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering. Arguably the world’s most famous Caymanian, if convicted, Webb could be jailed for as much as 20 years.

“While we are profoundly disappointed by the allegations made by authorities that again, CONCACAF has been the victim of fraud, we remain committed to CONCACAF’s goal to develop, promote and manage the game of soccer,” said the new CONCACAF president. “We have now taken the appropriate steps to maintain our operations and continue to deliver on our commitments to all of our constituents, including our fans, members, as well as commercial and broadcast partners. We also continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigation by governmental authorities, which have not placed any restrictions on our ongoing activities,” Hawit added.

The confederation said Webb and Li were “provisionally dismissed” in accordance with the statutes. The Executive Committee also appointed Victor Montagliani, the President of the Canadian Soccer Association; Justino Compean, the President of the Mexican Soccer Federation; and Sunil Gulati, the President of US Soccer Federation, to a Special Committee charged with the duties of evaluating and sustaining all of the business operations of the Confederation in the wake of the indictments brought against the members of FIFA and CONCACAF.

The Executive Committee also placed General Secretary Enrique Sanz on a leave of absence to begin immediately. In addition, CONCACAF Deputy General Secretary Ted Howard has been appointed by the Executive Committee as acting General Secretary. Howard takes over the administrative functions of the day-to-day business of the Confederation in absence of Enrique Sanz.

Meanwhile, as other footballing nations with officials caught up in the massive US and Swiss criminal investigations announced internal audits and probes of their own, the Cayman Islands Football Association has remained silent over Webb’s arrest and ousting from football’s aristocracy. Despite requests for comment, CNS is still waiting to hear from local officials.

As Webb and the others awaited extradition to the US, FIFA President Sepp Blatter remained determined to stand for re-election Friday in Switzerland regardless of the FIFA executives sitting in jail. But FIFA sponsors, such as Coca-Cola and Visa, began to question their commitment to the body as they called for change.

However, Nike, which has been a national federation sponsor rather than a global one, may also be caught up in the scandal. Although not named in the indictment, the sportswear company appears to fit the description of the company that secured a sponsorship deal for the Brazilian team strip in 1996 and may have been involved in bribes paid by the sports marketing firm, the Traffic Group.

Nike issued a statement Wednesday saying it was very concerned about the allegations of corruption against FIFA officials and that it strongly opposes any form of manipulation or bribery. “We have been cooperating, and will continue to cooperate, with the authorities,” the global sports brand said.

As the details of the corruption scandal unfolded Thursday, Blatter denied responsibility but promised to clean up FIFA by pressing ahead with his bid for a fifth term. Blatter told the FIFA congress in Zürich that he could “not monitor everyone all the time”, even though some of those arrested were part of his own inner circle. He emphasized that the allegations and arrests focused on “a minority of individuals”.

Although Blatter was not indicted in the US probe or arrested by the Swiss authorities in connection with their investigation into the awarding of the next two World Cups, during a press briefing US attorney general Loretta Lynch would not give Blatter a clean bill of health when asked by journalists. She said the corruption investigation was by no means over yet.

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Comments (72)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If you can’t run with the big dogs then stay on the porch!
    So very sad!

  2. Anonymous says:

    It was mentioned on the news that Bruce Blake, of CIFA, and Mark Scotland were. both there

  3. A foreign friend says:

    Come on Renard, it’s time for you to step up!!

  4. bobo says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    maybe webb, like mckeeva, should stand trial in front of a caymanian jury, who will surely give him a fair judgement…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      That would not be fair since there are some Caymanians who might not like Jeff, but he could be tried in that new sports court that is being setup in Cayman.

      Lawyer and former Tourism Minister Cline Glidden has been seconded to regional football governing body CONCACAF to assist in establishing a new dispute resolution court for the sport based in the Cayman Islands.

      The territory has been selected as the likely destination for a planned center of arbitration for all football matters within the Americas region.

      Mr. Glidden, a former vice president of the Cayman Islands Football Association, now with law firm Ogier, will advise on the legal, logistic and administration process involved in setting up the new court. He will be on a six-month secondment with CONCACAF, the governing body for the sport in the Caribbean and Central America.

      CONMEBOL, the governing body for soccer in South America, is also involved in the process of setting up the arbitration panel, which would handle all disputes across both regions.

      Jeffrey Webb, president of CONCACAF, said, “It is a pleasure to engage Mr. Glidden’s expertise and experience to assist with this arbitration process.”

  6. Anonymous says:


    • Garfield says:

      Can someone tell me if the Cayman Islands voted for Sepp Blatter today or the alternative candidate who UEFA, the U.S. and Canada are supporting? Who is now heading up the Caymans Island delegation in Zurich and who is the Caymanian who casts the vote? Who is the Cayman Islands Football Association accountable to in the Cayman Islands?

      • Anonymous says:

        Attorney General quoted in Compass on 27 May on re-introduction of Charities Bill on Monday:

        “We should not sit and wait until the country is indicted or blacklisted and then we seek to react. We should be proactive about it. Some of those who are now questioning the need for the legislation will be the first to ask ‘how is that the government never saw it coming?’“

      • SSM345 says:

        Are we missing any MLA’s?

      • Anonymous says:

        CIFA is made up by the 14 different full registered football clubs along with a few other football entities. This group is called the CIFA Congress who is the governing body of football locally. This Congress then elects a exicutive body made up of the prisident, Vice Presidents, treasurer, and other various members who is selected by the prisident to head the various bodies within CIFA. The problem with this congress there is no unity within it. It is highly manupilated by the prisident and the only time it functions is when it meets annually to relect the existing members who 4 year term was up and to be informed of how the exicutive body has run football for the past year.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Uh oh, Right about now plenty people spilling plenty dirt on plenty people and that’s got plenty people fretting plenty. Uh oh.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Arrived at the front in a Mercedes to the flash of cameras and left under a sheet in a Hatchback. Ironic.

  9. Only a severely bitter mindset would warp this into a “Cayman issue”.

    Should we consider ever Brit and American liable and accountable for the very recent mass-murderous war crimes of their democratically elected leaders? Should we also demand said citizens “pay up” for the latest western bank orchestrated global economic recession?

    Grow up people. You sound like immature kids on the playground. However, if you cannot manage to do so, then at least be fair and hold all countries to equally ill-conceived standards – regardless of region or cultural makeup.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Oh CIFA, CIFA, CIFA. Studiously ignoring this ain’t going to make it go away.

  11. Anonymous says:

    To cap it all, Webb received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal of Honour from Premier Bush in front of the 250-plus in attendance.

    “I think we’re well on our way to reshaping the future of the confederation,” Webb said. “We discussed such things as CONCACAF corporate governance, processes, ensuring that some of the things that happened in the past will not happen again.

    “We discussed grassroots programmes, development programmes and also the sustainability of CONCACAF’s finances is well sound and shows the responsibility that this generation has to take CONCACAF into the future is well on its way.”

    Webb introduced the new general-secretary Enrique Sanz whose forte is television contracts.

    “My first six weeks as CONCACAF president have been a whirlwind,” Webb said. “It’s a lot of responsibility. The hardest thing has been trying to be in two or three places at the same time!

    “We have some big announcements in the next few weeks, including TV contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Our finances are sound and our partners are keen to continue to be involved to continue embracing youth and development.”

    Bribery at the top of the FIFA hierarchy is another sensitive topical issue.

    “It’s a very unfortunate situation,” Webb said. “From my perspective it is very unfortunate and very bad for the game.”

    • Anonymous says:

      “My first six weeks as CONCACAF president have been a whirlwind,” Webb said.

      And the last two days have been a F5 tornado!

  12. Annonymous says:

    Worst than Hurricane Ivan for Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, because they can’t cover this up by denying the seriousness of the issue or censor the news.

    • Not surprised says:

      A few weeks ago Jeff was the “chosen one” now today he is Judas. Life is a bitch if you dont live straight. These get rich quick ways of thinking are killing us. Why cant we just be honest, work hard and enjoy the fruits of our labor like the iron men that built our country.

    • oh please won’t somebody please think of the children! The scandal of FIFA corruption in no way reflects badly on Cayman. FIFA has been notorious for their corruption for years and years – their scandal superceeds any national boundries. It was only weeks ago that John Oliver’s HBO show centered around the global corruption that is FIFA – the point being that there is almost no national FA that has not been involved either directly or complicitly in the outragous corruption of the worlds most played sport. This kind of action by the authorities should be celebrated by every soccar loving person in the world so that the next generation can enjoy ‘the beautiful game’ unencumbered by corruption and petty politics.

      • Anonymous says:

        A Caymanian arrested and indicted as stated (don’t know if guilty or not) does reflect badly on Cayman. Why didn’t he think of the children? No sympathy or prayers. If not guilty, will pray thanks.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Will anyone order an investigation into the affairs of CIFA?

    • Anonymous says:

      Have there been alligations of wrongdoing as it relates to the affairs of CIFA?

    • Chris Johnson says:

      This is a very valid point. Their Webb-site is empty as regards its constitution, it’s owners/members, directors and officers. I understand it is not audited like the rugby and cricket associations although many years ago it was audited by Coopers and Lybrand. Moreover I believe that no annual accounts have been prepared. Perhaps treasurer Canover Watson can confirm this and correct me should I be wrong.
      The millions of dollars sent by FIFA and possibly government monies need be accounted for.
      Perhaps the secretary of this august body could advise us of the names of the four persons accompanying Webb and Takas on this sojourn, their purpose, the cost and more especially as to who paid for the trip.
      In conclusion an in depth investigation from a totally independent firm needs to be done to untangle this Webb and made public so we have one less Agean Stable to clean.

      • Anonymous says:

        Excellent points, Mr Johnson (though its “Augean Stables” not Agean!!!). Many years ago the Cayman Islands Amateur Athletics Association, which was a family run affair at the top, could never produce audited accounts though the money flowed in (including from government) and certain officials went all over the world “representing Cayman”. Everyone knew it was wrong but nothing was ever done, which, sadly, is all too often the way things are done in Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        LMBO! You need to stop… “the treasurer Canover Watson”. LOL

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope no investigation is done here because our judicial system is too imcompetent.

    • Garfield says:

      But exactly who are the people who run CIFA and who are they accountable to? Nothing on their website on who runs the show.

    • Anonymous says:

      Looks like that Charites Bill is a day late after all.

  14. Bizness says:

    The image of the Cayman Islands abroad have been severely damaged. Even if we are a clean country its perception is not good, and perception is truth. We need to educate europeans by investing money to explain, educate and clean our bad reputation to attract investments.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry buddy, Europeans are already educated in the corrupt ways of the Cayman Islands and the wider Caribbean. Perhaps those bastions of honesty, goodwill and commercial probity, (the Russians and the Chinese) can help.
      Only those with something to hide invest here and that can bring a whole raft of other problems when the IRS or HMRC come calling. Good luck though.

    • Anonymous says:

      … And Truth is the perception.

  15. Anonymous says:

    CONCACAF getting tough now! Capt. Burrell was only “suspended” for six months, with three months of that deferred. Sanz was also indicted, but since he has leukemia they are going easier on him.

    CONCACAF reminds me of what Desmond TuTu said about the new ANC leadership. They only stopped the gravy train long enough to climb on board.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is that the same Capt. Burrell that owns the Captain’s Bakery? Does anyone know who his Caymanian Partner is?

  16. Anonymous says:

    And he must be removed as Cayman’s President as well

    • Anonymous says:

      Merely removing him is not enough, he must be denounced as well. Removing Jack Warner and replacing him with Jeff Webb was just more of the same. Putting the good Captain as head of CONCACAF, who is now back after being suspending will ensure continuity of everything that has been happening since Jack Warner was first elected.

      Someone in CIFA, especially some young, honest, and educated individual, needs to step up and call for an independent audit of CIFA and pledge to be open with ALL of the funds going forward.

      To have the people selected by Jeff to be his deputies to now take control of CIFA will only allow them to get rid of incriminating evidence. CIFA needs a completely new slate at the executive level. If they did not know what Jeff was doing then they are negligent in not knowing, so even more reason for every one of them to resign.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are right. Not just removing the prisident, the whole executive body of CIFA should be removed. when you have the prisident and the treasurer of CIFA being charged for similar criminal offenses. CIFA has lost all credibility locally and internationally. Either the Minister of Sports or CIFA Congrees Should demand a extra ordinary Congressional meeting to address this serious issue.

        • Chris Johnson says:

          I think the problem is that unless the board members resign which is unlikely, they cannot be removed! Sounds like it was a nicely drafted constitution.

      • Chris Johnson says:

        I agree but there is one problem, that of those who run CIFA. The body represents football and the clubs or teams in Cayman. Those clubs and teams bear the responsibility of cleaning the Aegean Stables, if they have the power under the constitution of CIFA, which sadly I expect they do not.
        Perhaps the lawyer that sits on the board can explain all.
        Having played football in the seventies in Cayman, the citizens of the Cayman Islands are entitled to explanations.

  17. Anonymous says:

    And just like that. It’s all over.

  18. Anonymous says:

    How can this be, he is a christian, I am sure God has a plan for him to be a witness when he gets out of jail.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh please the Caribbean is awash with Christians with less than Christian intentions.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s why I don’t go to church. The little old ladies in there talking about the young people this and that forgetting about all the dirt they did when they were younger. The best joke I get is the ones that are living with men, unmarried and have children yet talking about the young people doing the same thing. Lucky for one of those SDA the other night that my son was with me or I would have reminded them of their hypocrisy.

    • Anonymous says:

      With plans like that I can see why people don’t believe in ‘God’.

      Why on earth would you want to worship a deity whose ‘plan’ for your life is to have you achieve success only to then have it all taken from you in an instant, serve 20 years in a Federal prison, and then come out when you have maybe 10-15 years left of life to be a ‘witness’?

      As far as life plans go, that one pretty much sucks. Of course, it’s not as bad as the plan where a 4 year old child is strapped in her car seat and thrown over a bridge into a river to drown. By her father.

      Or the athletic 15 year old girl who was playing softball, felt dizzy then suddenly collapsed and died five days later.

      ‘God’ may need to work on his life plans cause they pretty much suck right now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Johovas witness maybe

    • Anonymous says:

      yep…. a caymanian christian……

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, this is the handiwork of God reminding the world how quickly he can switch things up. Don’t forget it.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is why we need the LOL button back!

    • Eddy eaglet says:

      Don’t worry, by the time the Cayman media has finished with the damage limitation, spin and deflection, all involved will be British or American nationals linked to British banks with offences committed in the U.S. Any who slips through the net will then be examined by the “village witch finder generals” for any trace of furruner or anything less than three generations links.

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